Rutland’s members of the all black 54th Massachusetts Regiment, and their share of glory during the Civil War, is vividly recounted here by Don Wickman.
In September of 1862, President Lincoln issued the Proclamation of Emancipation allowing blacks to enter the military.
In January of 1863 a “colored” regiment was raised in Massachusetts, with members of Rutland’s small black community actively participating. In one of its historic battles in South Carolina 50% of the 600 men were killed.
The story of their continuing participation in 1864 and 1865 is related in great detail with the final campaign described by its leading officer.
The article includes individual biographies of the twenty men who ultimately served from Rutland, accompanied by a group photograph and campaign map.